Getting the most out of exam revision

Junior and Leaving Certificate examinations are about to start so here are a few ideas for making the revision process a little less tedious.


Our current exam system places a significant emphasis on retention and recall of information, a significant problem for young people with memory difficulties.  Working memory is responsible for storing and processing information, and research tells us that people with poor working memory have limited resources for maintaining attention on relevant information.  This is a critical part of revising for examinations, so sitting with a text book for 1 – 2 hours is probably not going to result in well learned material.  The Pomodoro technique is a useful way of organising revision time, by switching learning activities and methods.


You can build this method into a personalised revision timetable using Excel, which incorporates multi-media and traditional study materials.  I have created these for Junior, Leaving Certificate, and college students.  There are some really excellent web tools available, for example, ready made online flashcards from Quizlet which will also generate multiple choice quizzes.

Revision timetable for Leaving Cert

Some students really benefit from having a daily schedule, and this can be extracted from your three week master revision schedule.  For example, here is a daily schedule for first year undergraduate Psychology.   Revsion schedule 8th May

If you have notes and handouts in Word format, you can also take the work out of exam revision by hearing these read aloud using the Speak Selected Text function.

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